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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • You may want to check the distributor.

    I have a 95 Nissan Altima GXE and it had starting problem too, and it turned out that the distributor was bad. You can see the following message (in this board) that I posted some time back:

    561 of 1193 95 Nissan Altima GXE/Auto Engine Problem by msahmed United States of America Sep 04, 2003
  • Altama 2001
    - Blower not working on low settings. Only work on the Highest setting.
    - Read from other articles with the same problem suggested that the blower
    motor resistor is not working.
    - I got the resistor removed and check the connectivity (as suggested by the
    Hayne book) between all the leads and seems OK.
    My question:
    1. How to check if the resistor is broken?
    2. What should be the reading from the Ohm meter?

  • I really think Nissan has a very big realiability problem. I like their new designs but it doesn't last long. My mother's 2002 Altima 2.5 S has been at the dealership's service department for over a month now and here's how it all started. We took the car to the service department for it's regular scheduled maintenance. On the way to the dealership, the engine just stalled after stepping on the accelerator from a red light. It started immediately, but it had a wierd sound as if it's was going to stall again. When we arrived at the dealership, I mentioned the stalling to the service department representatives and we were told that the'll look into the problem, along with the scheduled maintenance. Then she also stated a recall for the headlamps, which can also be done on the same day, and that everything should be done within 6 hours. We came back after 6 hours just to find out that we cannot bring the car home because the car is not safe to drive! It turned out that the torque converter was malfunctioning and it requires a new transmission. They told us that the car would be fixed within 4 days. So came Friday, end of the week, and we received a phone call saying that the car isn't fixed yet. What they didn't tell us that their service department went on fire the day before! So my mother's car had been sitting on the parking lot for nothing. They wouldn't want us to take the car to another dealership for repairs since they insisted that they would fix it within a few days. So we waited for another week just to get a phone call from them saying that they would transfer the service to an another dealership in town. Now at the second dealership's service department, they did their own diagnostic test on my mom's Altima and told us that everything's fine and that they couldn't duplicate the problem! The same old line service department people are known to say. So we took the car home, hoping that there isn't any problem at all. But, big mistake. The car stalled again while my mom was pulling the car out of the driveway. This time, the car was completely undriveable. We then called a tow truck and brought the car back to the dealership that misdiagnosed the problem. They ended up ordering a new transmission, just what the first dealership did.

    A 3 year old car with 29K miles should not have this kind of mechanical problem. Like I said, Nissan has a huge realiability problem, along with service department people avoiding huge repairs on vehicles that actually do need repairs. We are worried that the problem could go back so we're trading it in for a 2005 Honda Accord once the car has been fixed. I have a 1997 Honda Civic with 156K+ miles on it and it still runs fine, no mechanical problems whatsoever--that's realiability. Our huge lesson here, never ever buy a Nissan. And since Infiniti is Nissan's luxury line, you have to think twice about getting an Infiniti as well. :lemon:
  • Thanks in advance that you posted this problem. I was in the dealership and almost tried to buy 2005 Ultima 2.5 S. I should think twice to buy this car and I will bring the issue to the attention of their management.
  • My '94 Altima has 110K miles on it and runs great. Never had more than minor problems with it, and very few of those. Lately, I've been replacing tail light lamps and scratching my head. First noticed my in-dash clock display sometimes dims or totally goes out when I apply the brakes. This is in the day when I don't have my headlamps turned on; when my headlights are on, braking doesn't seem to affect the clock display. When I go to replace tail lamps, they will often be hot to the touch, even though they had appeared burned-out. With new bulbs in place, they don't glow with a uniform brightness. I've been told from time to time from people behind me that when I brake the tail light on one side or the other goes out altogether. I've never messed with any of the wiring, nor had any mishaps. . . Any ideas?
  • I purchased a 2005 Altima 3.5 three weeks ago with 11 miles on it. Within two days there was billowing clouds of blue-white smoke pouring out the back when I stepped on the gas. Took it back to dealer, they were great, gave me a free rental and called Nissan to get OK on what to do. Nissan said replace the entire engine. That work will be finished today and I hope the problem is solved, but after reading these forums on similar problems with the 3.5 engine, I hope they aren't all lemons. It has shaken my confidence in Nissan. We owned a 1997 altima and never had any problem, which is why we bought another one.
  • There is a little knob to the left of the steering wheel, very close to the door. This knob is the dimmer for the dashboard light when the exterior lights are on. Yours are probably turned all the way off, and that's why when you turn on the exterior lights, the dashboard lights go dark. Turn the knob in the opposite direction when the exterior lights are on, and you should now see them come on.
  • mfeachmfeach Posts: 1
    Anyone have any experience with the VSS, such as its location. I know its on the transmission but not sure where. Keep getting VSS error code in ECM. comes and goes, thinking a bad/loose connection etc. thanks in advance.
  • bgpabsbgpabs Posts: 2
    i have a 98 altima and i have the same problem, i tried playing with the dimmer and the lights still not working, i also tried checking the fuses but they all seem ok, any ideas?
  • Haven't received any responses to my previous posting and I'm still hoping someone may have some sort of idea as to what's going on. When the weather is cold and I start my '95 altima in the mornings, it will die unless you hold your foot down on the gas pedal for about 15-30 seconds. During this period, well, the only way I can think of to describe it is a "surge" although I'm not sure this is the correct term, the engine surges and revs and the whole car shakes. It then smooths out and I don't have any other problems with it. The colder the weather, the more pronounced the issue. Sometimes it feels like the whole car is going to shake to pieces. Other than that, it's treated me great for the last two years (aside from the notorious blower resistor issue.) Thanks.
  • Hi,
    Did you find anything out about the engine knocking? I have had my 2005 Altima to the dealer twice for this problem. The dealer told me that it is supposed to sound like that. I don't like it. I plan to take it to another dealer to have it checked. Is this a common problem with these cars?
    thanks. ">
  • chub03chub03 Posts: 2
    hey sir I'm gar an i was just wondering what happen with your oil problem cause I brought a brand new 2003 Nissan Altima 2 year ago. Now at a lil over 25,000 miles It stated having engine trouble blowing out white smoke. I took it in to the dealer where I brought the car. The dealer told me i have sludge in the engine and it came from lack of maintenance. I show them receipts where I did get the maintenance done and The Nissan Dealer and Nissan refuses to fix my car.
  • chub03chub03 Posts: 2
    I brought a brand new 2003 Nissan Altima 2 year ago. Now at a lil over 25,000 miles It stated having engine trouble blowing out white smoke. I took it in to the dealer where I brought the car. The dealer told me i have sludge in the engine and it came from lack of maintenance. I showed them receipts where I did get the maintenance done and The Nissan Dealer and Nissan Motor Corp. still refuses to fix my car.
  • Hey I have a friend with a 03 2.5s with the same seat noise problem. Has anyone heard of a fix for it.
  • mrtudemrtude Posts: 3
    1993 GXE, brake lines just replaced due to rust (Norther car for years). Two days after repairs, backing up, heard grinding noise and kind of a popping noise. Stopped car, looked underneath and saw nothing. Put it in drive, drove a block or two and heard/felt a major bang like when you hit a hole in the road. Stopped, drove some more and it did it every little while, but major thump. I have it in the shop now. No noise in engine, trans, anywhere. Just this like hitting a hole thing. Any thoughts?
  • :mad: My 2002 Altima is having a continuing problem with water leaking in from the right side door frame. The water leaks from the interface with the interior cloth and platic shell adjacent to the windhield. The point is higher than any glass on the windshield which makes me think it is not associated with the windshield. Has anyone else ever reported this problem. The car started showing signs at 45-50000 miles. My AUTHORIZED dealer has gallantly tried twice to fix it. Of course now that I am over 60,000 I belive there is no help coming from Nissan. During the winter as snow melted and entered the car and subsequently ran down to the dash, the dash board actually began to displace because of freeze/thaw.

    Any help or insight is greatly appreciated.

    Jim Nagle
  • doubovdoubov Posts: 1
    I was driving home from work and the car engine just turned off. I tried starting again; starter made the noise but would not start. Similar thing happened one day prior to this on my driveway, the car wasn’t used for 4 days and I tried to start it the starter would sound but the car would not start. After pumping the gas petal and trying to start it on about the 10th time it finally started. It worked fine until next day. This doesn’t help anymore! Anyone have any idea's what it could be?
  • I'm having the same problem with a 2000 Altima. I found that the only way to try to engage the clutch was to place a jumper wire in the clutch relay switch. But the clutch continues to make the screeching noise. It may be that the compressor is locked-up. $$$.
  • I just fixed a problem like this on my sons 97. Over certain bumps there was a thump or rattle from the L/S front. Found the front L/S lower control arm rear bushing was worn out and the control arm was loose in the bushing. Bushing is pressed on so have to replace the control arm as an assembly. Cost about 150 for the part and took about an hour.
  • Also check for worn out lowewr control arm bushings. Just fixed a similar problem on my sons car
  • potts1potts1 Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 nissan altima. It quit a week ago. I have bought a brand new battery and altornator for it, but it still will not run. What is the problem? How can it be fixed?
  • mrsksmrsks Posts: 1
    I own a 2004 Altima 2.5S which I purchased in December of 2003 and have been dealing with problems with the tires/balance/alignment since the fall of 2004. I noticed that the front end of my car started to shake when I reached about 50 mph but not below and not above. I have always had the tires rotated and balanced on schedule. When this started, I had them done at the dealership where I purchased the car and another Nissan dealership in a town close by. The shaking went away for a couple of months and then came back in the spring of 2005. I again took the car to the dealership where I purchased it and they informed me that the car was balanced and in alignment :confuse: . A week before my wedding this August, the shaking returned. I took it back to the dealership and they took one look at it and informed me that I needed new tires because they were all worn. My car only had 22000 miles on it :surprise: ! My husband and I had a horrible time with the dealership's service department. They said they would put the car up to check for alignment but that if it needed it they would charge us the service fee :mad: . They finally agreed to put the car up and they replaced the two front tires after much deliberation. Needless to say, the shaking did not stop. When we returned from our honeymoon, we took the car to a friend of ours who owns a tire shop and has a front end specialist who works for him. He looked at the car and told us that the two front tires are out of round. He balanced the car as best he could but said the only way to fix it would be to replace the tires Nissan put on the car. They informed us that this was a problem they had seen before from these tires and that they don't even work with them they are so bad :( . ANYWAY, I said all that to say this, in our case it is TWO SETS of bad factory tires but I don't know that I am completely convinced that there isn't something else going on here. Now we are dealing with a rushing water noise under the dashboard on the passenger side which we have taken the car in for twice. They flushed the coolant system the first time and said it was "fixed" but are now telling us that it is a "standard" noise for Altimas since they don't have a heating filter in the coolant system and the water flows freely back and forth. I just want to know why I don't here it all of the time and I don't really care to have a car that makes strange noises that are "standard."
  • gino45gino45 Posts: 52
    I have never heard of a heating filter? I would carefully check the coolant level for the next few weeks. If you are loosing coolant, bring the car back to the dealer and tell him to perform a pressure test on the cooling system. This will tell you whether you have a head gasket leak or leaking water pump. I had a similar problem with my Toyota and it turned out to be a leaking head gasket.
  • Hey group,

    2004 Altima 3.5 SE has been completely enjoyable in the 19 months I have had it. I have noticed some bumps and noise on rough roads. I expect to have some of this because of the low profile tires and the fact that many Japanese sedans have a slightly bumpy ride (late model Hondas are much the same way).

    I have noticed a muffled thumping noise that appears to be coming from left-front when I go over rough or wash-board type roads. This does not happen when going over single bumps, and is only audible from the interior. I have heard that Nissan suspension components aren't that great, but I haven't noticed any of the hallmark visual signs that my struts need replacing. Anyone else have this problem? I will probably have a dealer take a look at it and replace the struts before the 36/30,000 is up. I would like to know if anyone else has had a similar issue. Is this possible some other loose equipment (besides suspension) that is rattling?
  • I had the same problem with my 97 the cure was to change the Distributor there is an o-ring in the distributor that fails and lets oil in. what stinks is that that distributor [used] is about 400 clams. Good Luck
  • My 2005 Altima 2.5S Odometer seems to be off a bit. I've had a hunch since purchasing the car that the speedometer read a bit higher than actual speed traveling. So I did a little test while driving on I-94 in Wisconsin. Checked my odometer against mile markers. After 50 miles, my trip odometer read 50.9 and main odometer read 51. I know this is off only 2 miles per 100, but when the car's gone 98,000 miles, it will read 100,000. Anyone else experience this? Would you recommend I demand it be fixed? Thanks...
  • alpine1alpine1 Posts: 51
    The difference between 50.9 and 51.1 is 0.2 miles or 0.4 miles per 100 miles. After 100,000 miles it will be off by 400 miles. Totally unacceptable!!!! Demand it be fixed immediately!!!! ;)
  • taz1taz1 Posts: 1
    At about 105,000km, my Altima engine is noisy on a cold startup (marble type sound). Goes away in less then 1 second. The engine runs fine and will startup without the noise, if the engine had been running less then an hour ago. I imagine that as long as all engine components are wet with oils, there is no sound. If the car sits for a while, some components are no longer wet with oil, and make the marble type sound on startup. Would this be a sign that the rings are bad?? or worse??
    Please advise.
  • rumansrumans Posts: 13
    I think he was talking about the difference between the 50 mile marker and the 51 miles showing on the odometer. This adds up to 1 mile extra on the odometer every 50 miles driven. It will come out to an approx imate 2000 difference at 100,000 miles on the odometer.
  • Yes, rumans is correct. Both the trip odometer & the main odometer are off 1 mile after going 50. This is easy to test. Try it out and let us know what you find. Thanks, Jack
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